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More thoughts on emojis

December 19, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 49

I don’t understand why emojis have some readers up in arms (C&EN, Nov. 21, page 2). Chemists have been using pictorial symbols for hundreds of years to express complex ideas in shorthand.

It’s nice to see that the general population is finally catching up.

Alex Goldberg
Edmonton, Alberta

Although the author of the letter published feels that something as meaningless (to the letter writer) as emojis have no place in C&EN, Editor-in-Chief Bibiana Campos Seijo’s column addresses a way of capturing the attention of my high school students who are in the process of learning to express themselves in appropriate words for a potential chemistry-related career (C&EN, Nov. 14, page 3).

Part of my job is getting their attention, which the emojis do. After I have their attention, I can introduce them to the very interesting field of chemistry. Once they are hooked, they are in because the “illiteracy-promoting drivel” is what lets them know that chemistry is for all of us, not just for the boorish few.

Maureen Fritchy
Haverhill, Mass.


Nov 14, page 18: Ginkgo Bioworks is working on an unnamed ingredient for Archer Daniels Midland and on strain improvements for Cargill. The article reversed the two partner companies.

Nov. 21, page 32:The cover story on the artificial leaf incorrectly stated that Emily Carter has worked on methanol-generating photoelectrocatalysts for decades. She has worked on those reactions for about six years.

Nov. 28, page 19:The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety’s review of the preservative poly(hexamethylene) biguanide hydrochloride found it to be a cancer concern but not a mutagenic concern.



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